Feb 21, 2010

Young Australian Artist of the Year Award 2009

In November '09 I was flown to Melbourne for the YAAWA (Young Australian Artists and Writer's Awards). Now, because of the unwritten no-winning-the-young-australian-artist-of-the-year-twice-in-a-row rule i didn't get the overall prize. Also, because of the again unwritten nobody-can-win-more-than-category rule, I only got 1 award. The drawing above is 'Oblivion' and is, to put it simply, an undead horse rearing out at from darkness. Yes, he has reins coming from his eyes. I wanted to make his concept less cliche and more unique. I did use a reference for the tendons and ligaments of his face and legs which is the very useful Cyclopedia Anatomicae. If you can find it, I recommend that you buy it. It's basically an encyclopedia of the anatomy of different animals as the names suggests. It includes: humans, horses, sheep, dogs, cats, pigs, chimpanzees, lions, cattle, goats and even camels (to name a few).

Anyway, Ochi got the overall drawing award (sponsored by the Lions Club). I used HB, 2B, 4B and 8B pencils/graphite on a piece of squared off A2 illustration board. It's this drawing that got me the job illustrating Gary Crew's picture book but more on that as it happens. The drawing's behind glass now so this is the best image I have of him for now. Ochi is actually a rhythm (how your eye travels around an image) experiment, so he did well. He's also a character from one of my novels (yes I am a writer too).

As a kind of compromise 'The Cabinet' (above) got the cover of the ASG (Australian Scholarship Group) magazine that it gives to the artists/writers attending and sends out to the schools. The Cabinet was supposed to win the overall award and was my Yr 11 final piece. Painted on A1 300gsm watercolour paper in watered down acrylic.

'Bludgerfawn' was supposed to win best painting. He's painted on A2 in watered down acrylic using only two colours: black and yellow oxide for his eye. Bludger has now become the character for one of my kids stories but originally was an experiment on using soft and sharp lines to give a 3D effect. if you look at him from a distance his hands look closer than his head. He IS a badger despite what people say and his hands are not chained together, he is holding a pocket watch.

Bludger wasn't included in the magazine but a print was silently auctioned for $400. On top of that, prints of both the Cabinet and Ochi were raffled and together raised about $1200. All of the prints I had donated and the money went straight to the CCN (Children's Charity Network) which are the guys who run the event.

I was sitting on a table with Marc McBride and Doug MacLeod. They are some of the funniest people I have ever met. My poor mother was left in a corner while I socialised.

The YAAWA are open to school-aged children. Google the name or go to http://www.youngatart.com.au/ for info on the art awards. there is a website for the writing portion somewhere...

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